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BSMS > About BSMS > Contact us > Staff > Professor Hugo D Critchley

Professor Hugo D Critchley

Hugo Critchley profile photo

Professor Hugo D Critchley

Chair of Psychiatry
T: +44 (0)1273 678336
Location: Trafford Centre for Medical Research, University of Sussex, BN1 9RY

DA: Christina Lee
T: +44 (0)1273 873833

Clinical enquiries: Neurobehavioural Clinic, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, East Brighton Community Mental Health Team, Brighton General Hospital, Brighton BN2 3EW
Tel: +44 (0)300 304 0096 

Areas of expertise: Psychiatry; neuropsychiatry; interoception; ADHD; Tourette's Syndrome

Research areas: Interoceptive awareness (consciousness of internal bodily state); dissociative symptoms such as derealisation and depersonalisation in psychosis, epilepsy and anxiety

Other relevant positions: Co-Director of the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science; Head of the Department of Neuroscience


Prof Critchley trained in physiology and medicine at the University of Liverpool and gained his DPhil in experimental psychology from the University of Oxford.  He then embarked on his psychiatry training, and has pursued his interest in brain imaging studies for the last 20 years.  He was based at the KCL Institute of Psychiatry in London, before moving to the UCL Institute of Neurology.  In 2006 Prof Critchley left his position as Principal Research Fellow / Senior Clinical Fellow at the Wellcome Department of imaging neuroscience, to join Brighton and Sussex Medical School as the Foundation Chair in Psychiatry.


Professor Hugo Critchley pursues a lifelong interest in normal and abnormal human behaviour from the perspective of mind-body interaction.  His work helps define the way in which states of bodily arousal are controlled by the brain and how thoughts, feelings and behaviours are shaped by physiological changes in the body.  Hugo’s team applies this understanding to gain new insights into psychological symptoms and mental health disorders, including psychosis and anxiety. 

Hugo leads active research programmes within BSMS, and as co-director of the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex; these projects combine patient studies, neuroimaging and autonomic physiology.  He also works clinically as a Consultant Psychiatrist within Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  His specialist clinical service evaluates neurodevelopmental conditions in adults.  


Prof Critchley lectures undergraduate medical students (including the psychosomatic medicine sub-course) and supervises IRPs and summer studentships. He teaches psychiatry trainees on the MRCPsych, MScPsychiatry and MSc Cognitive Neuroscience.  Via BSMS Psychiatry and jointly with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust and the KSS Deanery, he hosts and organizes postgraduate academic symposia for psychiatrists three times a year.  He is a supervisor of Doctorate students (presently Hielke Prins, Sophie Betka, Georgina Heron, Alexandra Herman, Tom Grice-Jackson and Jake Butterworth).  He also regularly presents as an invited keynote lecturer at symposia and international conferences.

Selected publications

Discrepancies between dimensions of interoception in Autism: Implications for emotion and anxiety. Garfinkel SN, Tilly C, O’Keeffe S, Harrison NA, Seth AK, Critchley HD. Biological Psychology 2016 114:117-26.

Threat and the body: how the heart supports fear processing. Garfinkel SN, Critchley HD. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2016 20:34-46.

Knowing your own heart: Distinguishing interoceptive accuracy from interoceptive awareness. Garfinkel SN, Seth AK, Barrett AB, Suzuki K Critchley HD Biological Psychology 2015; 104:65-74.

Visceral influences on brain and behavior. Critchley HD Harrison NA. Neuron 2013 77:624-38.

Conjoint activity of anterior insular and anterior cingulate cortex: Awareness and response. Medford N. Critchley HD Brain Structure and Function 2010 214:535-49.

Inflammation causes mood change through alterations in subgenual cingulate activity and mesolimbic connectivity. Harrison NA, Brydon L, Walker C, Gray MA, Steptoe A, Critchley HD. Biol.  Psychiatry 2009 66:407-14.

A common role of insula in feelings, empathy and uncertainty Singer T, Critchley HD, Preuschoff K.Trends in Cognitive Sciences  (TICS) 2009 13:334-40.

Nikolaou K, Field M, Critchley H, Duka T. Acute Alcohol Effects on Attentional Bias are Mediated by Subcortical Areas Associated with Arousal and Salience Attribution. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013;38(7):1365-1373.

Critchley H, Harrison N. Visceral Influences on Brain and Behavior. Neuron. 2013;77(4):624-638.

Seth A, Critchley H. Extending predictive processing to the body: Emotion as interoceptive inference. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 2013;36(03):227-228.

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